Between the Wallabies’ series loss to the British Lions, going 0-2 down in the Ashes and Adam Scott crumbling on the back nine in the British Open, it’s been bad times for Australian sports fans.
Let’s re-live some sunnier days with a piece I wrote for TSJ the week of Scott’s historic Masters win earlier this year.
Prior to this week, it could have been said that The Masters dishes out a special kind of pain for Australian golfers. At times, a sharp, swift slug to the stomach; others, the slow, systematic – but equally agonizing – peel of a band-aid.
As Adam Scott walked up the 18th fairway of Augusta on Monday morning (AEST), millions were expecting the worst.
There’s a lot of romance in golf, but just like in life, for every story of success there’s 100 tales of heartbreak. No one knew which ending Scott was going to get as he lined up a 20-ish foot putt.
Make it, and he would at the very least be given the opportunity to play-off for the green jacket. Miss, and a fast-charging Angel Cabrera was poised and ready to roar right past him.
What followed was possibly the most clutch putt in the history of the Masters.
I’m not ashamed to admit that it got a little misty in my house when Scott lipped in, leant back on his heels and screamed: “Come on, Aussie”.
While that wasn’t the putt that officially won him the title, there’s no doubt that it was the most important shot he’ll ever have to make, and it’s rocketed to number one on my list of “Top Australian Sporting Moments” .
We’re all still riding the buzz of Australia’s maiden Masters win days later – so why not keep it going with a collection of other top moments in our sporting history.
While there are dozens that could have made the list, these have been chosen for the pure spectacle, story, adrenaline and emotion – the last second, last gasp, last chance wins that have you up on your feet, winging your drink in the air and throwing out a Tiger Woods style fist pump.
Kerryn McCann’s marathon victory at the 2006 Commonwealth Games
We’ve heard plenty of athletes talk about how a home crowd can make all the difference, but I never fully believed it until this moment. It’s an emotional video to watch, especially when you couple it with the fact McCann’s life was tragically cut short by breast cancer at 41.
The 4 x 100 metre freestyle relay gold medal at the Sydney Olympics
I wrote at length about this victory here – I will never get tired of watching the clip.
Australia qualifies for the 2006 FIFA World Cup
(Confession – I couldn’t actually watch this live. It was too tense. I went and sat in my backyard and gauged the result by the cheers coming from inside the house).
Anna Meares wins sprint gold in London
I think I’m at the point where I’ve run out of adjectives for Anna Meares. (See here and here). Her memorable sprint win was made even sweeter by the fact that I was in London, and the only Australian in a pub full of about 200 very fired up English supporters.
The 1999 Cricket World Cup semi final vs South Africa
I used to have this game taped on a VHS – thank goodness for YouTube, because the tape had long worn out from over-exertion. As far as exciting finishes goes, there’s no better than this.